When I see all my old shoes that cannot be worn properly anymore, I sometimes wonder if there’s a way to recycle or up-cycle them so I don’t have to just add them to the growing pile of trash. The good news is that there are a lot of people who think about problems like this and come up with amazing products that use repurposed and eco-friendly materials. Even better, the things that they come up with not only look good but are also pretty useful.
Designer: Irina Flore
Remix Maison is a collaboration between designer Irina Flore and Native Shoes using the latter’s material called Native Shoes Remix. This proprietary material is made from repurposed footwear, specifically using EVA (Ethylene Vinyl Acetate) and rubber. The shoes that are no longer in use are cleaned and then ground into a new kind of material and then used for other purposes. The sculptural structures also use metal for its frame. For this particular collection, they have created a piece of furniture that also looks like a piece of art.
The bench designs come in different kinds of seemingly abstract shapes but they are all fully functional, multi-purpose, and of course, very eco-friendly. It is meant to be placed in small spaces and near entryways or anywhere in your space that you want to display something nice. But it’s not just for display. It also can be a seat for one person, a tray for items like keys or notebooks or alcohol (the sanitizing kind), a holder for a pair of shoes or slippers, or a hanger for your coat.
The form of the items in the collection are based on conceptual drawings by Flore and are actually pretty decorative and colorful, also because of the material used. Each piece is designed to reflect more modern sensibilities but also, because of the repurposed materials used, it also makes us more aware of the way we consume things. And since it’s built to hold some of the most important things we use, it also makes us think about our every day actions and the things that we need to function.